A big feature in this morning's NY Times about Charlaine Harris, the Magnolia writer who's made a hit of her Sookie Stackhouse series of vampire romance novels. The news is that her latest, "Dead and Gone," will be No. 1 on the Times' hardcover fiction list this Sunday. (The cover illustration is from an earlier title.)
It's a happy success story with deep Arkansas roots.
Driving last week along a tree-lined country road dotted by an occasional horse farm or a row of abandoned chicken coops, Ms. Harris said it was how she imagined the road to Sookie’s house. Ideas for characters come from all over the place.
“Every trip to Wal-Mart is an inspiration,” she said. But don’t try to find a model for Merlotte’s, the bar and restaurant where Sookie works. Magnolia, in southern Arkansas near the Louisiana border, is the seat of a dry county.